A Michael Jackson-themed episode of Glee will premiere next month.
A full-on MJ-themed show is being hustled into production on the heels of this week’s episode, which featured a trifecta of Jackson family songs — one from The Jackson 5, one from Janet and one from Michael. Glee bosses have fast-tracked the long-proposed tribute show so it will be ready to air Jan. 24 on FOX.
Producers of the Emmy Award-winning series plan to feature 10 to 12 of the “Thriller” icon’s most popular songs in a 90-minute special, TV Guide reports.
The first scenes will be filmed just before Christmas. The second half of the show will be completed when the actors return from their winter break in early January.
Glee creator Ryan Murphy says excited cast members are already “flooding him with requests to sing their favorite Jackson numbers.”
The King of Pop is the latest music legend to inspire a tribute from the Gleekster of McKinley High. Pop divas Madonna, Lady Gaga and Britney Spears have all provided the soundtrack for their own musical spectaculars since the show’s premiere in 2009.
But, as The Hollywood Reporter points out, the tribute specials don’t always reasonate well with Glee’s core audience:
“Glee‘s tribute episodes have had mixed results for the series, with its Spears in November 2010 scoring a series high at the time and besting the show’s Madonna effort, while its Gaga special didn’t fare as well, registering a season low in viewership and the key adults 18-49 demographic for the season to date.”
Michael’s tunes have turned out to be a huge profit generator for the estate of the late singer, who died of a propofol overdose in June 2009. Jackson’s estate and Cirque du Soleil are splitting the costs and profits of the hit stage production Michael Jackson: The Immortal World Tour.
Michael’s family has given “their enthusiastic support” for the Glee project.
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